Have You Been Injured In An Alabama Construction Accident?
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by USA Today, estimates that the construction industry has the 17th highest rate of on-the-job fatalities in the country. While the rate of non-fatal injury is significantly lower, it is still unsurprising that the casualty rate is so high, given the nature of the work – large equipment, great heights, and live wires mean that there is an elevated level of risk compared to work sites in many other industries. The variety of hazards also may lead to a wide variety of injuries – from broken bones and lacerations, to chemical burns, to brain trauma.
If you have suffered injuries after a construction accident, a Birmingham construction accident attorney from Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help to determine whether or not you have a case, and whether or not you may be entitled to compensation. Construction accidents are more likely to be serious, and an experienced attorney can help with the legal load while you focus on healing.
Premises Must Be Made Safe
Unlike in some other states, Alabama law requires a property owner to make and keep their premises safe for those who visit. Alabama follows the common-law rules of premises liability, which means that a landowner’s duty of care will vary depending on the status of the injured person. There are three categories of visitor under state law:
- Workers and other guests who are there for commercial purposes (for example, customers in a business, or paying guests at museums).
- Those who are present for their own reasons, with permission of the owner. Social guests are the most common example of licensees.
- Fairly self-explanatory – people who are present on the property without permission.
Each group of people is owed a different duty of care. For example, trespassers are only owed a duty to refrain from willfully injuring them, or to warn or aid them if they are in a “position of peril.” Invitees, by comparison, are owed warnings of any dangers that are not open or obvious, and not only by the property owners or operators – in the construction industry, people in positions of authority like contractors and engineers also share in the duty to make the premises as safe as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Is Usually Exclusive Remedy
If you have been injured as a result of a construction accident in Alabama, know that in most cases, the proper remedy for the harm you have suffered will be filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for most on-the-job injuries, and it has the general advantage of being available regardless of fault. However, given how serious injuries can be in construction accidents, it is important to keep in mind that state law does contain two exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule – in other words, two instances in which an injured worker can sue their employer over the damages they have suffered.
The two exceptions are (1) when the injury results from “willful conduct;” and (2) when a third party (that is, not a coworker or employer) causes the injury. While an injured construction worker cannot recover twice for the same injury, one of the main differences between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit is that one cannot recover damages for pain and suffering or mental anguish under workers’ compensation law.
Injured? Our Attorneys Can Help
Construction accidents can be life-changing. If you have been injured severely, the Birmingham construction accident attorneys from Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help you seek out the compensation you deserve while you focus on getting your life back on track. We have experience in these cases and are ready to work hard for you and yours. Contact our office today at (205) 731-2566 for a consultation.